søndag 2. mai 2021

Why African countries back China against the West on human rights

African countries are not among those calling out China for its treatment of the mostly Muslim Uyghur population in the north-western region of Xinjiang. In fact some African diplomats recently attended an event in Beijing and lauded China's policy in the region. At least a million Uyghurs are believed to have been detained in Xinjiang in a sprawling network of camps. China faces accusations of forced labour, forced sterilisation, torture and genocide - allegations it denies.

The Chinese government has defended the detention camps, claiming they are vocational "re-education centres" for combating terrorism and religious extremism. "Some Western forces hyping up the so-called Xinjiang-related issues are actually launching unprovoked attacks on China to serve their own ulterior motives," Adama Compaoré, Burkina Faso's ambassador, was quoted as saying at the event in March dubbed Xinjiang in the Eyes of African Ambassadors to China.

The event was also attended by Sudan and Congo-Brazzaville, whose envoy Daniel Owassa reportedly said he supported what China has called a series of anti-terrorism measures in the region, saying he appreciated "Xinjiang's great development achievements in various fields in recent years". Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the gathering was an example of Africa's silence on a key global concern.